Another week, another controversial rules incident on tour.
This time it came at the WGC-Dell Technology Match Play, where Thomas Pieters was denied a free drop given to Bryson DeChambeau in a seemingly identical situation.
Pieters’ second shot at the 13th ended up on a sprinkler head. While normally this would mean a free drop, the head was touching a red hazard line, and after consulting a rules official, he was told he had to play the ball as it lay.
Visibly frustrated, especially after playing partner Tom Hoge made birdie, the Belgian hit his ball well past the hole, then smacked it into the water.
The incident was made even more controversial shortly afterwards when DeChambeau found himself in the same situation – but was given a drop.
🚨THOMAS PIETERS FREAK OUT ALERT🚨 pic.twitter.com/ZyNLRWk917
— The Plugged Lie (@PluggedLiePod) March 23, 2022
Soon after the American and Richard Bland had finished the hole, an official spray painted the turf around the sprinkler green, presumably to remove the red line and avoid any more gaffes.
The incident didn’t go unnoticed on social media, with many fans calling for explanations.
Others likened it to moving the touchline during a football match.
Fortunately for Pieters, he was still able to beat Hoge 2&1.